The world is a disagreeable place. Plan to go on a picnic; it rains. Find the perfect pair of shoes; they don’t have your size. Those things are trivial compared to the disagreeableness of people. An old song complained; “I don’t know why you say goodbye; I say hello.” And that pretty well sums people up. No worries, right? Diversity is the buzzword of the times. This makes me wonder if the bees buzzing the word diversity know what it means.
We live in a land filled with folks of various colors, political opinions, educational backgrounds and religious leanings. If diversity is gold, we should all be rich. The cause of our poverty is a typically human one. Our words and actions don't match. Differences are not valued equally.
It makes no sense. But, that has never been a requirement of human thinking. Diversity, as it is socially applied, is about accepting and celebrating differences in people. That means all differences. Right cannot celebrate left if right is not valued. White cannot celebrate other colors if white is not valued.
For all the talk of diversity, people act as if they would be happier if everyone agreed on every issue, wore the same size, ate the same thing, liked the same things and kept to the same schedule. Given some of the current consequences of division, absolute sameness sounds like an idea whose time has come.
In reality, it sounds good only because it can never happen. A world of sameness and an absolute agreement would be a drab, extremely boring place filled with thankless, uncaring, boring people unable and unwilling to celebrate anything. Uniformity is not all bad. People share the same frailties, emotions, and problems associated with flesh and blood. A certain degree of sameness and personal identification is necessary to form relationships. The truth is people tend to flock to those who share something with them. Race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, cultural heritage bind people together more than they divide people. One has only to find the common thread to tie a knot.
Diversity has its place. However, if every person looked wildly different and believed, felt and acted in completely unique ways, it would make a great movie bar scene, but a very isolated, lonely real world. Equality and sameness are not synonymous. People are not all the same. People are equal. That is, each of us is born with equal worth. We could do with fewer murderers, child molesters, rapists, and thieves, but generally speaking, diversity is a good thing.
Some people are like you, and some are not. It is not immoral, racist or bigoted to gravitate to those with whom we share common bonds. It is a part of that human nature that people say they value so much. Recognition of differences is not hate. It is living in reality. It is possible to be unlike someone, to dislike their preferences and their lifestyle choices without hating them and to allow them to live their life in peace. Difference without superiority; this is diversity. If only people would practice it.